“While all of us want Love, many of us seem unable to experience it. Our guilty fears from the past block our ability to give and receive Love in the present. Fear and Love can never be experienced at the same time. It is always our choice as to which of these emotions we want.
When we perceive another person as attacking us, we usually feel defensive and find a way, directly or indirectly, to attack back. Attacking always stems from fear and guilt. No one attacks unless he first feels threatened and believes that through attack he can demonstrate his own strength, at the expense of another’s vulnerability. Attack is really a defense and, as with all defenses that are designed to keep guilt and fear from our awareness, attack actually preserves the problem. Most of us cling to the belief that attacking can really get us something we want. We seem to forget that attacking and defending do not bring us inner peace.
In order to experience peace instead of conflict, it is necessary to shift our perception. Instead of seeing others as attacking us, we can see them as fearful. We are always expressing either Love or fear. Fear is really a call for help, and therefore a request for Love. It is apparent, then, that to experience peace we must recognize that we do have a choice in determining what we perceive.
Many of our attempts to correct others, even when we believe we are offering constructive criticism, are really attempts to attack them by demonstrating their wrongness and our rightness. It may be helpful to examine our motivations. Are we teaching Love, or are we demonstrating attack? If others do not change in accordance with our expectations, we are likely to regard them as guilty, and thus reinforce our own belief in their guilt.
Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others, but by simply accepting them as they are. True acceptance is always without demands and expectations.”
– Dr. Gerald G. Jampolsky in Love Is Letting Go of Fear